New From Blue Begonia Press

Namesake by Joan Fiset

“The suspense of childhood, the hypnotized waiting for an exit from it and its moody gods the parents, the indenture of it, along with its bliss: Joan Fiset fits marvels of doubt and ecstasy into a paragraph. The mother's story here, blurred in the eye of a child already a poet, is a masterpiece...

Namesake is one of the most vivid and moving memoirs I have ever read.”   

Valerie Trueblood  Search Party

Namesake cover


ISBN: 9780911287755


153 pages

 "Namesake feels like a fine-tuned watch, as time flows through this rewarding, tempered narrative. The prose poems—the pieces—are like lyrical snapshots of a larger world held together by silences. This memoir also shows how less is more. An example is the poem, “Wonder Bread”: “Soft in white plastic. Red, blue, yellow balloons. White bread. Brown crust. Fresh/but not like food. Fresh as a lie you swallow.” The twenty-three words expand. And the photographs in Namesake underscore how small moments, through language and images, can grow into an engaging register of feelings."

Yusef Komunyakaa  


“This moving chronicle portrays a daughter’s profound ‘re-collections’ of her mother in staccato-like scenes, each building upon the next. Poetic phrases erupt without warning from descriptive prose, where her mother is just beneath the surface, never far from the text. The child’s mind’s-eye is keen and curious. Moments of warmth between mother and daughter intersperse with the first hints of danger, fracture, and loss. The adolescent watches helplessly as her mother slides into terrors and inner torments skillfully rendered by the narrator. Subtle use of the spoken, unspoken, and ambiguous evoke feelings words often fail to express. Yet here the poet has found a way.”

Kenneth Kimmel Jungian Psychoanalyst Eros and the Shattering Gaze—Transcending Narcissism

Joan Fiset is a therapist in private practice and teaches writing courses at Richard Hugo House. Her book of memoir prose poems, Now the Day is Over, (Blue Begonia 1997) won the King County Publication Award. Her poems and short fiction appear in Trickhouse, Tarpaulin Sky, the Seattle Review, Kirkus Review, BlazeVox and others. website: 


Blue Patina by Nancy Takacs

"Besides being one of the best kept secrets in Rocky Mountain literature, Nancy Takacs is genuinely one of the most generous and very most talented poets I have ever read." — David Lee

Blue Patina, by Nancy Takacs

ISBN: 978-0-911287-73-8


Compared with the gorgeous, sensual worlds inhabited by Takacs’ speakers, the disorienting loveliness of Utah’s landscape seems almost as plain as the word “desert” to easterners’ ears. Through these formally varied, affectionate, and attentive lyrics, however, Blue Patina gently charts the overlapping territories of self, memory, and appetite its wise, flawed, intensely alert speakers inhabit every day, wherever they physically live in the present. Takacs’ work doesn’t idealize, but writes with “farmhouse aura inside skyscraper.” This imaginative attitude encourages readers to recognize both “the flourishing” and “the deadweight” of daily life and the vitality of a busy, private mind: the everyday drama of the wicked neighborhood cat, the irresistible erotics of flannel, and the unexpected deviance of lavender, garlic, and lime. Takacs’ poems show us what it is to be in love with places, with any place, but also to have the courage and wits to keep moving.  

Elizabeth Savage

Blue Patina. Nancy Takacs is in the shade of high desert canyon walls. She's quiet, steady, clear. She's resting her hand on her hip, running her eyes over rock darkened by sun and dew and time. She's looking for and finding those telling scratches in the indigo, the petroglyphs, the earlier times and beyond. Her own times, all there in the present. Recorded. The Jersey girl, her family, her friends, the neighborhood, the school and the church, the boys, the streets. The way out. All the way to this Utah map. The people, their meeting places, their times alone. The high desert. The life away, the waters of Superior, the forest, its creatures, the flowers and plants, the garden inside the fence line between the bear and the cabin door. Recorded. Clear scratches in the blue patina of the high desert. The desert varnish. Still, persisting. Hard earned, hard edged, carefully etched. She's forward looking. There's more up canyon.

Barry Grimes

Besides being one of the best kept secrets in Rocky Mountain literature, Nancy Takacs is genuinely one of the most generous and very most talented poets I have ever read.  When she finds her way into an image, a drift of figurative language, or a crackling story, she bulldoggedly gets her teeth into it, never lets go until it thunders, and shakes it until it gives up all its secrets, calls out calf rope, and says I give.  She's just flat that good.  And yes, as a matter of fact, yes, I would take this book with me to the deserted island for my end of life hermitage.  For more information on that topic as well as my opinion on whether you should read this book, please consult the closing sentence of James Joyce's ULYSSES. Yes.

David Lee

About the Author

Nancy Takacs is the author three chapbooks, Pale Blue Wings, Juniper, and Wild Animals, and a full-length book, Preserves. She is a former creative writing professor and wilderness studies instructor at the College of Eastern Utah in Price, and has, for the past decade, worked with inmates, seniors, and children, for the Utah Arts Council’s Artists in Education program. A recipient of the 2013 Sherwin W. Howard Poetry Award from Weber: a Journal of the Contemporary West, the WFOP Kay Saunders New Poet Prize, several writing awards from the Utah Arts Council, and the Nation/Discovery Award, she holds an MFA from the University of Iowa. Originally from Bayonne, New Jersey, she lives in Wellington, Utah, and in Bayfield, Wisconsin, near Lake Superior, with her husband and two dogs. 

The Light You Find by Terry Martin

"The Light You Find sings a hard-earned love song to central Washington's Yakima Valley, the hills surrounding it, and the river that is still transforming it."—Elizabeth Austen



"I've come to let the river work on me," writes Terry Martin. And in poem after poem, she shows how our beloved places might work on us, too: "Fill your empty place / with this horizon." Loss and anger find voice here, but so do acceptance, compassion and gratitude. These are poems to savor and share. —Elizabeth Austen Every Dress a Decision


Terry Martin’s The Light You Find is a powerful and richly-layered collection that fulfills the promise she displayed in Wishboats and The Secret Language of Women. In this book, she uses the landscapes, birds, farms, and people of the Yakima area as both backdrop and instigator of her poems. Martin is at the top of her game; The Light You Find rewards reading and rereading. —Leonard Orr Why We Have Evening

You can Order your copy of The Light You Find Here


ISBN: 0-911287-71-4


About the Author

Terry Martin earned a B.A. from Western Washington University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. She’s been fortunate to make her living reading, writing, and talking with students for 35+ years. An English Professor at Central Washington University, she is the recipient of CWU’s Distinguished Professor Teaching Award and the CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year Award. Her poems, essays, and articles have appeared in hundreds of publications and she has edited books, journals and anthologies. Her first book of poems, Wishboats, won the Judges’ Choice Award at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Book Fair in 2000. Her second book, The Secret Language of Women, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 2006. She lives with her family in Yakima, Washington.